Punch Drunk

An Emeryville cocktail bar for those weary of the scene

You would be forgiven for thinking that Prizefighter is a fussy cocktail joint.

It has the pedigree of a veteran bar staff that has collectively worked in almost every great bar in the Bay Area. But at the new bar in Emeryville, a town best known for IKEA, superb libations are dispensed without attitude.

If you want a beer, eight are on tap, with pitchers available and a few $3 brews offered in a can. Or choose a cocktail to geek out on: Our favorite was the Nuevo Viejo, an Old-Fashioned with a Scotch whisky twist, served with a hand-cut ice cube.

The drink list also includes classic cocktails, like the perfect rendition of a Jack Rose (Calvados, lime, grenadine; $9), punch bowls ($50) and pitchers of sangria ($40).

An impressive selection of 16 mezcals is available, accompanied by your choice of three excellent Sangritas. "Purple" is pomegranate-juice-based; "green" combines pineapple juice with cilantro and green chile; and "red" is the classic tangy, spicy tomato version.

The cocktails are well crafted, but owners Jon Santer (Bourbon & Branch, Beretta) and Dylan O'Brien (Bloodhound, Churchill) have kept the focus on the drinker's experience, not on cocktail ceremony.

That, not the beverages, may be the most refreshing thing of all.

Prizefighter, 6702 Hollis St. (at 67th St.), Emeryville; facebook.com/prizefighterbar